Reverb: Recommending Code-Related Web Pages

Nicholas Sawadsky, Gail C. Murphy, and Rahul Jiresal

University of British Columbia, Canada

Track: Technical Research
Session: Tools
The web is an important source of development-related resources, such as code examples, tutorials, and API documentation. Yet existing development environments are largely disconnected from these resources. In this work, we explore how to provide useful web page recommendations to developers by focusing on the problem of refinding web pages that a developer has previously used. We present the results of a study about developer browsing activity in which we found that 13.7% of developers visits to code-related pages are revisits and that only a small fraction (7.4%) of these were initiated through a low-cost mechanism, such as a bookmark. To assist with code-related revisits, we introduce Reverb, a tool which recommends previously visited web pages that pertain to the code visible in the developer's editor. Through a field study, we found that, on average, Reverb can recommend a useful web page in 51% of revisitation cases.